Friday, May 10, 2013

Part 7: Holiday to South Island of New Zealand (28 Nov-13 Dec 2012) - 11-12 December 2012

Surfing time *free wifi*
We just had a simple breakfast, then bought some bread and/or sandwich at Do Duck in Bakery at the next door of our motel..
One for each one of us
 Stopped about 30 min at Spring Junction for toilet break and snacking time. 3 scoops of Tip Top ice cream cost only N$3.80 from Alpine Motor Inn & Cafe.
Ice cream, anyone??
After 1hour drove, we reached Hanmer Springs, famous for its thermal pools and spa. We did not have much time to deep into the pool, so just took a walk in the surounding area.  Maybe next time have to stay longer to enjoy the hot springs..
View from Greymouth to Hanmer Spring

Hanmer Springs Park
Another 2 hrs driving from Hanmer Springs, we reached Kaikoura at 4.10PM. We found the motel, Willowbank Motel,  without any problem as it location is at the main road. After checked-in, rested, snack, bathed, we went out for a short walk, 15 min, to supermarket and do some shopping.

Yellow wild flowers along the road

The name 'Kaikoura' translates to 'meal of crayfish' ('kai'- food/meal, 'koura' - crayfish).
Kaikoura is famous for its crayfish and sperm whale watching.  It is a small town with beautiful view of the mountains and sea.
Since Kaikoura is famous for crayfish, we all agreed to taste the crayfish as our dinner. We found Lobster Inn Restaurant and Pub at the nearby area and after looked into the menu, we ordered and enjoyed our foods.
White Bait patties

Cray Fish ..

Seafood Chodder



We booked the earliest tour for Whale Watch, at 07.15AM (only during Summer Time they have this slot of tour. The price for adults NZ$145.00 and children NZ$60). We chose this timing, other than to save time, as today was our last day and had to go back to Christchurch before 4PM, also the wave will be calmer in the morning, not so rough compare with noon or afternoon time. We were lucky as the weather was bright and sunshine.

Did you see the rainbow at the water's splash???
The splash of the sperm-whale

Their website wrote the following statements on 6 May 2013: We awoke to a very windy and rainy day today as did pretty much the whole country. With the wind came rough sea conditions and none of our tours being able to sail today. The forecast is for things to ease overnight which we are very much hoping for.

After we registered ourselves at the desk, while waiting for the timing of tour, they played the video about this tour and about the whales in general. We took bus to go to the jetty and boarded into the boat.
The total journey on the sea about 2.5hrs. Most of the time we had to sit inside the boat, only when the captain or crews saw something interesting, then we all can go out to the deck. I got sea-sickness and throwed-out 3 times. The crews are very experienced and helpful in this matters.
Get ready to dive into the water
After more than 1 hours on the sea, we managed to see 2 sperm-whales from quite a near distance. Also some dolphins were following closely our boat. And some birds like albatross also appeared.
*if during this trip no whale can be seen, they will refund 80% of the price that we paid, see here.* The chances of seeing whale in Kaikoura is very high as they said, there are few sperm whales residing in this area.

Before we headed to Christchurch, we stopped at Kaikoura Lavendyl Lavender Farm. I was very happy to see the lavender farm. So many years I was waiting to visit Lavender Farm.. and finally ............ eventhough the plants not yet all fully bloom .. The visit to their garden  with a free donation of N$2.00 per person.
You can buy all types of products made of Lavender in their gift shop.
Lavender Flowers@ Lavender Farm

Photo taking all the time ..

 We left Lavender Farm about 12.20, after 1 hour spent in the farm to enjoy the beautiful flowers and photo taking..
We stopped at Cheviot for lunch @ Cheviot Tea Rooms.

Soup and Toast for N$7.40 from Cheviot Tea Rooms

We left Cheviot about 2.30PM for Christchurch. Along the way, we enjoyed the sceneries. Suddenly on the road side we saw many sheep *actually since day one, we saw many flock of sheep along the way, but no opportunity to stop and taking their photo except at Te Anau*.
We stopped to take the picture of the sheep, happened we stopped at the area of Mud House Wines, Waipara Hills. Another wine tasting and some bought the wine.

Mud House Wines, Waipara Hills
Beautiful garden to be enjoyed with a sip of wine

The flock of sheep @ Mud House Wines

At 4.15PM we arrived at sis. Lily/Bro. Hong's house. Had a rest before we were heading to Br. Yew's house for love feast.
Bro. Yew's laundry service

Delicious foods prepared with love by the saints

Spread of foods.. Fresh Abalone from Kaikoura at the left below

Tonight is our last night @ New Zealand ...... Packing... and get ready to fly back to Singapore tomorrow morning ....................


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